Category Archives: Barack Obama

Barack Obama

In Pursuit of Imperfection

“Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the essential.”

I’d like to make the case for the not-so-perfect. President Obama said this to lobby for his economic stimulus plan. However, it applies to so many things in life. The pursuit of perfection (which is arguably an impossible goal) can stall any action at all. Who or what is truly free from fault or defect? And in spending time seeking perfection, what other valuable things are we not doing?

When I’ve heard someone (usually a boss) ask for people to give 110 percent, I wonder if they skipped math class. That “go get ’em” attitude is ingrained in our culture. And yet this quote seems to applaud a really great effort – it values trying. So, instead of seeking perfection, let’s be thoughtful, let’s strive, and let’s remember to look for the lesson found when we stumble.

Barack Obama New York Times

Inaugural Words

The New York Times found an interesting way to look at the language of inaugural addresses through history. In Inaugural Words: 1789 to Present, you can click on a president and see which words he chose to use the most – the frequency of the words matches their importance at the time. Click through the years to see that George Washington spoke often of government, John F. Kennedy repeated pledge and ask, and Bill Clinton chose to use America and promise a lot. What stands out to me in President Obama’s speech yesterday are the words work, crisis and hard. The happy dancing of last night is over and the president begins the immense job of putting those words into action today. Obama also repeated endure more than most presidents – and I think he can.

Barack Obama

President Obama’s Inaugural Speech

“Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.”

Many sentences from President Barack Obama’s speech today will ring throughout history. I especially liked his string of traits in this passage. They aren’t the common ones. Yes, patriotism was there but so was curiosity. Curiosity speaks to America’s spirit of innovation – something we need to revive to meet environmental and other challenges. That desire to know more is one trait which will pull our nation up from its burdens.

There are few times when I felt at that moment I witnessed history – when my parents woke me up to see the first man on the moon, when the space shuttle exploded – this was another. Truly a new era has begun…

Barack Obama

Inagural Inspiration

“The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.” John Kennedy’s inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1961.

Writing any presidential speech must be a daunting task. Even since Barack Obama was elected, new economic and political crises seem to erupt each day. No president-elect has ever been more prepared before taking office or has needed to be. So what is Obama preparing to tell us on January 20th? How will he assure us with the appropriate balance of optimism and realism? And what will Obama tell us he can actually do to fix our mind-boggling problems? The world watches and waits…

Barack Obama

Convention’s Unscripted Sentence

“What city are you in daddy?”

There were many moving sentences at last night’s Democratic National Convention – from Edward Kennedy saying nothing (not even cancer) would keep him away, to Michelle Obama talking about the American dream. But I liked what was probably the only unscripted moment of the evening – little Sasha asking the presumptive nominee where he was. This can’t have been a “normal” year for the Obama’s two girls with all the cameras, late nights and traveling. But then normal people don’t make history.

Barack Obama Dan Quayle Will Rogers

Vice President ?

“The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, “How is the president?””

At least in America, many of us are on the edge of our seats wondering who presidential candidate Barack Obama will choose as his running mate. Will Rogers said that funny sentence. But, how important is the chosen vice president during the election? The reaction to Obama’s choice may tell us today.

Hopefully Obama’s choice will be smarter than past Vice President Dan Quayle who evidently had trouble counting when he said, “One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice-president, and that one word is “to be prepared.”